We’re Not Square! 10 Fun Books About Shapes for Toddlers
by Janssen Bradshaw
I didn’t give much thought to shapes until I had little children.
Now, I think about shapes all the time, as my toddler asks about shapes as we drive (“What shape is that yellow sign?”) or at mealtime (“Can you cut my sandwich into triangles?”).
An interest in shapes can start from a very young age, and shapes are so recognizable and so ever-present that you can practice them almost anywhere.
These books are great for introducing your child to basic shapes (and also reminding yourself of a few beyond just circle and square).
This Is a Book of Shapes
What begins as an early learning concept book about shapes quickly segues into a delightfully silly story sure to have little ones and their parents in fits of laughter. Educational and straightforward with lots of quirky fun thrown in, this was my toddler’s favorite book for months.
Introduce children to different shapes and share elements of Japanese culture in this fun board book. Kids will love following the lives of sumo wrestlers as they find oval fans, pentagonal houses, crescent bowls of stew, and more! Each shape also includes the Japanese word, enriching readers of all ages.
Bathtime Mathtime: Shapes
Make learning part of your daily at-home routine with the ingenious McKellar Math books series from actress, mathematician, and bestselling author Danica McKellar. In this board book, you’ll see shapes all around us – from the circular ball bath toy to the rectangular sponge!
My Very First Book of Shapes
If there is anyone you can trust to turn out a great book for your tiniest reader, it’s Eric Carle. The pages on this book are split so you can match the top of the shape to the bottom of the shape on a different page. When your child is really little, you can do the matching, and as they grow, they can do it themselves.
Llama Llama Shapes
Llama Llama and his momma discover rectangles, triangles, circles, and stars all around them while exploring the farmers market. Shapes are everywhere — your little one will love searching for them in this colorful look-and-find book.
This book has clever cutouts so that the addition or deletion of a shape on each page changes what shape you see. Watch as a watermelon changes into a bird’s beak and a whale’s tail becomes an umbrella. The bright colors make this especially fun for little readers.
Wild About Shapes
The beginning of this visually inventive book shows colorful overlapping Rorschach-like inkblots. But turn the acetate printed page to uncover animal shapes like crocodiles, giraffes, snails, mice, and more! Like the best books, the surprise doesn’t ruin it for re-reading!
Paris: A Book of Shapes
This beautiful board books from the Hello, World series uses basic shapes to introduce little ones to all the landmarks of Paris. Spot the circles near the Eiffel Tower and find the triangles at the Louvre Museum. A fun and colorful addition to any tiny traveler’s library.
Baby Touch and Feel: Colors and Shapes
These books are fantastic for curious little hands. Bumpy, silky, sticky — each shape has a different texture so they can be felt as well as seen. (If your child loves this sensory book, there is a whole series, featuring numbers, animals, toys, and so much more.)
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff
The high contrast between the silhouette artwork and bright colors on each page makes it easy for the youngest of readers to focus on the shapes in this book. More than just basic triangles and squares, Dr. Seuss uses his signature wacky rhymes to explore the shapes of objects like flowers and balloons.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2023.